Federal Judge Sentences Family Behind Decade-Long Massachusetts Lottery Scheme to Prison

  • Ali and Yousef Jafaar are heading to prison for their roles in a $20m lottery scheme
  • The men claimed lottery tickets on behalf of winners who wanted to avoid wage garnishment
  • The state lottery is preparing to revoke/suspend licenses for over 40 lottery agents
Two pairs of hands behind bars
A federal court in Massachusetts has sentenced a father and son team behind a $20m lottery ticket scheme to prison. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

A US federal court has sentenced Ali Jaafar, once dubbed the “winningest person” to play the Massachusetts state lottery, and his son Yousef to 60 and 50 months in prison, respectively.

The US Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts shared the sentencing of the Jafaar pair via Twitter:

The Jafaars were arrested in 2021, with the feds eventually charging the family for claiming over $20m in lottery prizes for actual winners trying to dodge state garnishment of their winnings.

ordered Ali and Yousef to pay over $6m in restitution

The pair also falsified their tax returns by reporting fake six- and seven-figure gambling losses to dodge over $6m in federal taxes, prosecutors said. On Monday, the DOJ also ordered Ali and Yousef to pay over $6m in restitution and to forfeit all profits made from the scheme.

Acting US Attorney Joshua S. Levy stated in a news release that the case was essentially “an elaborate tax fraud.” Levy added: “Over the course of a decade, this father-and-son team defrauded the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission and the IRS to pocket millions of hard-earned taxpayers’ dollars.”

According to the DOJ on Monday, as a direct result of the Jafaar case, the state lottery “is in the process of revoking or suspending the licenses of more than 40 of its lottery agents.”

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